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Old 11-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #1
larryscustomcycles OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 162
My G/S project.

I have been lurking here for quite some time & about 2 years ago I got myself a 81 R80G/S is a pretty sad state. Now, after finishing the last project (XS650) I'm into the G/S.
What I got was a non running old bike that has done many kms. I think it wasn't running due to what must have been quite the smokescreen...every wire under the front cover was melted completely, everything else super crispy.

Also the front wheel bearing had collapsed and it has the wrong headlight & instruments. Oh, and a real shoddy repair on the subframe.

So, its a complete rebuild time and I have made some significant decisions about which way to go. I bought a KTM 250 EGS that wasn't running and it will donate its forks, front wheel etc to the cause.

Anyone in Melbourne Aust who wants other parts from the KTM, they are going cheap!

I'll shorten the forks to standard length because I want this thing to look stock from 100m away so no giant dakar replicas etc. It also wont ever need to carry excessive loads, it wont be my travel bike, merely a toy for a weekend trip or something like that.

I have a set of triples on order from HPMguy...he says in that thread he is nearly finished.

A bunch of bits and pieces are coming from motobins, boxertoko (this Mat fella is being really helpful) and some tools from cycleworks.

It will get a Siebenrock 1000cc kit together with a full rebuild of engine and drivetrain.

Also I'll relace both wheels with excel rims, run a 320mm brake and dammit I want an orange seat!

Right now, its stripped down and I'm sandblasting bits and pieces and polishing the staintune exhaust it came with. I'm also collecting quite the rubbish bin...not tossing anything yet but damn everything looks knackered.

A few questions:

Electrics, I need new everything both charging and ignition and I might as well put a new starter in while its in bits because this one is probably well worn judging by the rest of the bike. So, whats the best ignition, charging and starter? I really don't need a system that can be put back to stock on the side of the road...because the stock stuff wont be there (its mostly ash). I have looked at euromotolectrics and given its an entire integrated system that might be my best bet?
I'll make a separate loom for lights, instruments etc because none of that will be stock.

Clutch, Its all pretty worn out in there, and if possible I would like to replace the entire thing. Any suggestions?

Final drive, I would like to replace the bearings but as much as I stare at the thing I cant for the life of me work out how to get them out! Is this really a specialist job or something...I cant even find a special tool I could use for it.

Driveshaft, I'll pull it out of the swingarm when the tools arrive but Im a tad scared by the significant metal shavings I found in there a likely part that has failed.

Fire, knowing virtually nothing of its history I have no idea what caused the this something that happens or did I just get lucky?

The G/S is in bits & I'll get some pics but in the meantime here is the XS!


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Old 11-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
Left Testicle
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Joined: Jun 2013
Location: New Zealand
Oddometer: 235
some of those bits ya want can be sourced locally. I will get Bulldust to appear with a helpful link. Group of guys up Brissy way that got the knowledge to point ya in right direction.

good group on Facebook that has lot of knowledge. do a search on facebook on "airheads bmw motorcycle riders"

Left Testicle screwed with this post 11-28-2013 at 07:04 PM
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #3
Beemerguru...G/S guy
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Foster City, CA
Oddometer: 1,027
Spend some time with Chris Roberts at Ringwood. I kept a G/S in Nanawading for years and the guys at his shop worked on the bike when I didn't have time.

Look up "John's G/S" on my website for a step by step on what goes on with a sorta stock G/S rebuild. You have a couple great guys for suspension there in Melbourne too.
Greg Hutchinson
BMW Club of Northern California, Ambassador, BMW MOA, Vice President Vintage BMW Club
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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Location: Australia
Oddometer: 837
I am in Brisbane and can help with all of the stuff you need.

Check my listings in the Australian Section link below.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: bc
Oddometer: 337
Awesome looking xs....... Good luck with the gs build.....please post pics....
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:57 PM   #6
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Shawangunks
Oddometer: 27,210
Unintentional psychokinesis.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
Scarred Adventurer
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Tucson (east side) AZ
Oddometer: 1,002
Originally Posted by larryscustomcycles View Post


Uploaded with[/IMG]

Nice! Takes me back about 30 years, my second bike! And my first real road bike, too. I had a 76, which I believe was the last of the Brit Bike influenced models before Yamaha took the model towards a more 'chopper' influenced look.

To this day, one of my favorite bikes. It was my first Yamaha, in a line of bikes that took me through a couple of SR500's, and an FZR.
To post images. Go to and do what they require. Copy it to clipboard (there's a box.) Paste the link (right click on the mouse, then left click 'Paste'.) Voila you got an image!
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
larryscustomcycles OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 162
Some progress here...its completely dismantled. Everything that needs it has been hydroblasted...oh so clean and shiny.
All painted bits are being painted, I reinforced the subframe.

Pulled the forks to bits and found the rebound cartridge pretty much destroyed...nice.

Heaps of bits in boxes ready to come together. Gearbox and final drive will get put back together with new bearings and some other bits and pieces

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Old 02-04-2014, 04:50 PM   #9
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Road Island
Oddometer: 6,055
...oooooohhhh.... lotsa bling.......

You'll have fun with it!

XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:13 AM   #10
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 453
I see you have your tranny open...

I did a couple last winter. One of the references I read suggest to replace all the springs while you are in there, which I did. Some say leave well enough alone... I took the other approach.

here lots of resources if you haven't found it yet:

As well that original BMW neutral switch is famous for leaking.. I just purchased a replacement that is suppose to be better.

Looks like it is going to a very clean bike when you are done!
'10 Husaberg FE450
'81 R80G/S: WP4860 KTM front end, Wilber's 633 rear
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:46 AM   #11
Old Poop
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Joined: Dec 2002
Location: upstate Nebraska
Oddometer: 1,369
Originally Posted by larryscustomcycles View Post

Nice bike, I like what you've done with it. The chain looks kind of tight. It could just be the camera angle.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:02 PM   #12
larryscustomcycles OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 162
Thanks guys,

Graham, new springs? It hadn't even occurred to me but now that you mention it it seems logical.

This bike was about the most tired g/s you are ever likely to see, importantly It didn't appear to have been abused, just ridden a heap. Nothing actually broken, just worn out. I have pulled every little part to bits and every part shows that it has been maintained but just done lots of work so it was that that prompted the total teardown and replacement of trans & FD bearings, and some gears.

Im looking at this 15 or 17.5 deg gears and wonder which I have...I wanted to go with the higher 5th and lower 1st gears but Im not sure whether the 5th is 15 or 17.5 either...

TTD, Thats a good eye for detail you have...but you missed the lack of fuel lines in that pic. I'll have it registered next week and hopefully I'll ride it to Phillip Island for the world superbike champs.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:16 PM   #13
DK Dan
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Location: Denmark
Oddometer: 229
The hydro blasted parts sure look nice
R100 G/S Paris Dakar ('87)
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
larryscustomcycles OP
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 162
Originally Posted by DK Dan View Post
The hydro blasted parts sure look nice
Don't they...its an amazing finish it leaves on cast parts, not just super clean but no longer porous so it should be easy to keep clean. It seems to sort of peen over the rough surface of any cast parts. Greg at Woodys Hydroblasting in Sandringham needs a plug, did a great job and knows where all the oil galleries are in airhead cases
HP2 enduro, g450x, XS650 custom finished project, R80G/S finished project, Zephyr 750 future project, R65, R60/6,
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:31 PM   #15
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Nor Cal, USA
Oddometer: 2,336
Originally Posted by DK Dan View Post
The hydro blasted parts sure look nice
I've had it done on two projects now. Spectacular finish.

Still need to pay a lot of attention to cleaning screw holes and oil passages...don't let the super-clean surfaces fool you. The abrasive is still down in those holes and grooves.
1974 R90/6 motor w/1050 kit; twin plugged; installed in...1970 R60/5 frame; RM125 front end; KZ1000 Police Tank.
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